The Pareto principle: for many outcomes, roughly 80% of consequences come from 20% of causes (the “vital few”).
Named after the Italian economist, Vilfredo Pareto, who observed in 1896 that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population, this principle evidences itself throughout nature and across a wide variety of industry including but not limited to sales, engineering, medical, computing and sports. It’s actually pretty remarkable just how many things follow this distribution pattern once observed. I encourage you to read and learn more about it. Pretty fascinating stuff.
We can apply the Pareto principle to our own lives. Specifically with any goal or objective we’re trying to accomplish. Here’s how…
For anything you’re trying to do, first write down all the things or action steps you think you need to take.
Look at your list and similar to the magic focusing question, ask yourself what 20% will get you 80% of what you want.
Do those and only those tasks first.
Then, should you have any time left over, do the other tasks to get the remaining 20%.
But no matter what, you’re 80% there. You got a B. B’s not bad.
It’s heckuva a lot better than zero, right? Which is where you were before you started. And where you’ll stay if you do nothing.